Sometime in November I think it was, maybe right after we hosted our annual Banámichi moto meet-up, I floated the idea to Lynn - AKA Mrs. TC - that we should take a trip to central Mexico and explore a bit. Instead of driving or flying and renting a car, I would ride one of the motorcycles to Guanajuato or Guadalajara and Lynn could fly down to meet me. We would then have the bike to use to explore. We could then ride back to Banámichi together or she would fly home. She seemed cool to the idea. I brought up the fly and ride idea again and Lynn said she did not want to ride pillion. But, and you could have knocked me over with a feather, she said she would ride in a sidecar and we should get one. This was a surprise. I had a Cozy sidecar on a 2001 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 in Colorado and she never seemed to care for riding in it. She did enjoy interacting with people who wanted to ask about the car wherever we went. She said she felt as if she was in a kiddie ride at the carnival and she did not like the way the bike would veer or jink to the left when stopping quickly (no brake on the car.) After Lynn got her own motorcycle we used the hack less and less. We sold the rig in 2007 along with 4 other motorcycles moved just the Triumph and the BMW when we moved to Mexico. I reminded her of her lack of enthusiasm for the hack and queried her several times to make sure but she said she is all in on trying one again so we can get on the road together once more. Fifteen years ago, Lynn was enamored of Ural rigs after seeing them at shows and on the road. I read extensively about the issues with Urals including reliability and lack of horsepower at that time. That may have changed in the last few years but we decided no Ural. If you have one and it works for you, great but this is not a Ural thread. In the end we decided that the 2006 Triumph Tiger would make a great tug for the car. It has several advantages. It’s paid for, it has plenty of horsepower and low end torque, it’s in good shape and not too costly or hard to maintain. The biggest advantage is that it has been legally imported into Mexico and has Sonora license plates. This was a critical point. In the past, even though there was a lot of bureaucracy involved, it was not prohibitively expensive to import a vehicle. Today, both the cost and the bureaucratic headaches have increased several fold including a recent requirement of having US Customs export vehicles first and voiding any US title. That means if you wish to sell it in the US it has to be re-imported. My Tiger still has a Colorado title so that is not a problem. The one downside is that this Tiger needs a separate, custom-built subframe installed to attach the car. My dive back into the sidecar world led me to DMC Sidecars. They have a great reputation, have many, many options in cars and have built subframes for this series Tiger before. However, they are up in Washington State and a long way from Banámichi. In the end, the hassle and the brain death of dealing with the bureaucracy on both sides of the border to import a new vehicle was the deciding factor. As we talked the plan through I suggested that we ship the bike to Washington then fly up together and ride it home when it was ready. Lynn said “We're not doing that.” Why not? But then, clarity. Lynn said yes, she would fly to Washington with me and yes, we would ride home. What was completely unexpected was her plan that we would ride to Alaska first before turning around to the south and back to Mexico. The car was ordered, the Triumph shipped to DMC with an estimated early June completion date. We made several lists, went through everything motorcycle trip related, what we thought we needed to take and what we needed to acquire. Tools, riding gear, clothing, spare parts, camping gear. Most of these decisions were made based on Alaska. We read ride reports, talked to people who have made the trip and people who live in Alaska. We checked to verify if our Mexican cell phones would work in Canada and Alaska. (Maybe) We ordered the Milepost Magazine, the ultimate guide to Alaska. We were ready. June couldn’t come too soon.